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Rick has two main areas of practice. He is a leading New Zealand business, information technology and media lawyer (particularly digital, internet, cybersecurity and privacy law), and has a first class masters degree in internet and copyright law. He is the first lawyer to have obtained the IT Professionals, CITPNZ certification.
He combines this with corporate and commercial expertise including advising individuals and families on their property, asset planning, commercial, business and governance arrangements, based on close working relationships with business clients for over 25 years.
Rick has significant expertise in advising businesses on general business, capital raising, corporate and governance matters as well as on privacy, cybersecurity, licensing, open source, creative commons, online commerce, SaaS and cloud legal issues, joint ventures and IT and intellectual property commercialisation and collaboration arrangements. He acts for business people and their families, listed and unlisted companies, startups, private individuals, telcos, ISPs, cloud service providers, media companies, publishers and authors, webdesign houses, software and app developers and network providers/integrators. He advises on trust creation, family office creation and administration and general asset planning, as well as providing IP, IT and general corporate, commercial, capital raising, dispute resolution and governance advice.
Augmenting his core legal practice, Rick has significant governance and business development experience. He was appointed in July 2020 as a founding director of Ara Ake Limited, established by Venture Taranaki with central Government funding, to focus on transitioning New Zealand to a low-emissions energy future. He was chair of Netsafe for almost two decades, seeing it become a word leading cybersafety organisation and the approved agency under New Zealand's "cyber-bullying" legislation, the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015. He was a founding director of Crown Company, The Network for Learning Limited for 5 years and has been an advisory board member of the National Library of NZ's DigitalNZ operation. Rick was appointed in 2016-2019 as an establishment board member to advise the Minister of Communications and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on the formation and operation of New Zealand's first CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team). He was a founding member of the Auckland District Law Society's Technology and Law Committee and is a past vice president of InternetNZ, where he was part of the working group responsible for the introduction of New Zealand's current shared registry domain name structure. Rick also headed up the team responsible for policy development of New Zealand's domain name dispute resolution service. In 2017, Rick was made an honorary Fellow of InternetNZ for outstanding contribution to the Internet in New Zealand.
Apart from his membership of the above organisations, Rick is also a member of the NZ Internet Task Force, IT Professionals, and a fully chartered member of the Institute of Directors. He has regularly been named a leading TMT and IP lawyer in annual listings.
Rick is the person I direct every single one of my customers to when they ask the inevitable "do you know a good lawyer ?" question. His domain expertise with regard to IP, the internet and all of the things in-between is legendary and his ability to explain often complex legal "stuff" in plain English is just one of the things that sets him apart in his field. I have had the good fortune to work with Rick on a number of projects and very much look forward to this continuing into the future.
Brett Roberts, Callaghan Innovation
Rick is one of the best lawyers I have ever come across. He really knows his stuff - listens and asks all the right questions. He delivers and is very engaged with the business that he is providing his services to. I cannot recommend enough. We're all coming to grips with rapid technology advances and data protection in today's age. If your business needs to consult a lawyer who specialises in the commercial, privacy and IT/Digital space - Rick is the best choice.
Amesha Rama, Real Estate Institute of NZ
Rick has provided legal advice to me and my family, and my businesses NZ Hot House Ltd, KPH Transport Ltd and related property companies, for over 25 years. He has assisted me greatly as my business has grown, as a friend, an expert lawyer, and as a business and strategic sounding board. He is, in my view, one of New Zealand’s best lawyers and I cannot recommend him and Lowndes Jordan more highly.
Brett Wharfe, Executive Chairman, NZ Hot House Limited
Rick improves everything he touches. He is a specialist in internet stuff and is positive, realistic, knowledgeable, generous, and considerate. He’s a treasure.
Lowndes Jordan takes part in Netsafe's "Closed to Harassment" online self defence course